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Anyone employed in a Court System is aware of the staggering percentage (65%) of arrestees and inmates, who meet the criteria for substance abuse (National Center for Addiction and Substance Abuse). Within the population of parents who lose parental rights, there is also a significant percentage of parents with substance use and mental health disorders. (Children and Youth Services Review, in press) The correlation between court appearances and substance use disorders is remarkable. Many of these arrestees, inmates and parents who lose parental rights are addicted mothers and fathers, and/or they are the grown children of individuals who came from homes with alcohol or other drug problems.

What about the children of the arrestee or inmate or the children who now find themselves in foster care? They suffer many of the consequences of their parent’s actions, including the effects of substance use and/or mental health disorders

“All drug courts should be dealing with the whole family.”

-Shannon M. Carey, Ph.D., Family Drug Court: Best Practices

NADCP (NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR DRUG COURT PROFESSIONALS) RESEARCH UPDATE ON FAMILY DRUG COURTS

Douglas B. Marlowe, J.D., Ph.D. and Shannon M. Carey, Ph.D
Drug Courts Restore Families, according to NADCP:

  • Parents in Family Drug Court are twice as likely to go to treatment and complete it.
  • Children of Family Drug Court participants spend significantly less time in out-of-home placements such as foster care.
  • Family re-unification rates are 50% higher for Family Drug Court participants.

GUESS WHAT? YOU’RE A FAMILY COURT TOO (IF YOUR CLIENTS HAVE CHILDREN): LEGAL ISSUES AND PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS WHEN WORKING WITH FAMILIES IN DRUG COURTS

Powerpoint created by Judge Jeri B Cohen, Commissioner Phillip Brit, Judge Ingrid Gustafson, and Jeffrey N. Kushner

ETHICAL ISSUES IN THE FAMILY DRUG TREATMENT COURT

Judge Leonard Edwards (ret.)
Many juvenile dependency courts: 1)have developed family drug treatment courts (FCTCs); 2) to assist parents in their efforts to recover from substance abuse and related problems; 3) These treatment courts have proved effective in helping parents recover from substance abuse and reducing the time children stay in foster care; 4) However, FDTCs differ from traditional criminal drug courts in several critical aspects. As a result, judges presiding in FDTCs face unique ethical issues.

National Family Drug Court (FDC) Training and Technical Assistance (TTA)

The Center for Children and Family Futures ’s mission for the Family Drug Court (FDC) Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) program is to improve outcomes for children and families by providing TTA that targets key practice and policy components: developing cross-system collaboration, implementing efficient practice, conducting needs assessments, providing staff training and development, conducting research and evaluation and developing sustainability plans. The FDC program uses a variety of technical assistance and training methods to engage FDC teams from across the country. These include web-based learning communities, on-site expert consultation, off-site consultation and support, policy analysis and focused resource and product development on specific Family Drug Court issues.

FDC BEST PRACTICES TEAM SELF ASSESSMENT FORM

Through this self-assessment aide, review to what extent your team currently institutes Drug Court Best Practices, especially in the area of Addressing the Needs of the Children. Note that NACoA’s Celebrating Families!TM program is a named example of this critical inclusion in the drug court process.

Celebrating Families!™

Reducing Relapse and Recidivism through Whole Family Recovery

Celebrating Families!™ helps the whole family recover from the disease of addiction and have an opportunity to live a safe, healthy and happy life. Its focus is preventing children’s future addiction, as well as improving their mental and physical health. An evidence-based program, CF! has been shown by outside evaluators to strengthen recovery, improve family re-unification and increase healthy living skills for families impacted by substance use disorders. Listed on SAMHSA’s National Registry of Effective Programs and Practices, CF! is one of the few programs that engage all family members, addressing addiction, recovery and living skills in every session.

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The program was created in 2002 for the Family Treatment Drug Court in Santa Clara, CA, at the request of Supervising Judge P. Leonard Edwards (ret.). Subsequently, a strong relationship with a variety of drug courts has developed because of the program's positive outcomes. CF! is currently referenced as a best practice for addressing the needs of the children in family drug courts according to FDC Guidelines outlined by the National Family Drug Court TTA The CF! program has been modified to meet the needs of Hispanic families through¡Celebrando Familias!.Through the Wellbriety/Celebrating Families! partnership, it is also available for Native American communities.

The 0 Thru 3 Years Supplement is now available to existing programs, emphasizing the unique and critical intervention and prevention opportunity for young families. Learn more about Celebrating Families!TM

Click here for more resources that benefit all professionals. Click here for resources to offer to children and families.